Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

professional character. Lightness and indifference awfully prevail in the day in which we live. There is but little that is felt and known of our privileges-words seem dry; they do not come as if warmed with the love of Jesus and a holy zeal. Where this is, the fear of man cannot stand before it-nothing can stand before it. The love of Jesus is sufficient in all cases. Some are helped with a little help; some have a very weak tabernacle, yet they are strong in divine things. The love of Jesus holds the soul in every state. “My heart and my flesh faileth, but God is the strength of my heart.” The love of Jesus is a divine fulness—all in all. Dear child, as thou feelest thy weakness and thy strength decaying, lay no plans for the flesh ; let Jesus be all in all to thee. Esau laid plans, but God overthrew them; none of his plans could stand. God had a plan of love, and showed how He could silence and curb a rebel, and prove that nothing should overcome His Church. He will destroy all that come against it. Here is a delight to the child of God, as well as strength to see His hand doing all things for you in love, love performing all business for you. Wait, dear child. If you love, you will wait; a blessed frame of love is this, to be kept waiting. I hope there are some of you here that have been waiting. Though you may not know how this is, I hope a dying-bed will bear witness to this, that you have waited, and not waited in vain. “My heart and my flesh faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.” Here are untired delights, ever full and free. Nothing to disturb here ; no matter what you have been if

you
have been made the monument of sovereign grace.

All is yours, and you are hastening on to the full enjoyment and consummation of endless bliss. Every vessel there shall be fulfilled with endless delight. There are no muddy streams there. If you can say Jesus is mine, my portion and my all, if pennyless and breadless, all is well and shall be well with thee. My Jesus has given me strength to stand here before you a few minutes, and I feel resigned to leave my all in His hands, to do as He pleaseth ; and, if I never see you again till I meet you in an eternal world, may God Almighty seal His own word, and command His blessing. Amen. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”—1 Thess. iv. 7.

The legalising homilist and the Christ-despising free-willer are lepers that stain all their devotion with uncleanness, and carry a striking proof as never been called of God, although they tug at the law for life. Their best fruits are death, and their best righteousness a menstruous cloth, and the best livery for the scullions of Satan to wash the outside of the cup, and the platter, and burn fleshly incense upon their altar of mock worship, to be abhorred of God. Holiness is inscribed upon redemption's girdle, and girds the covenant heirs with divine strength. All the covenant treasures they are called to receive are holy gifts. All the gifts of God are holy, and without it no man shall see God. A holy people, and all the vessels of the living temple, shall be holy. Holiness shall be their service; and holiness the habitation of the throne. The remnant of grace shall follow the Gospel horses, with timbrels of joy, and holiness shall sound from the golden wells. Oh, holy gifts! My soul, adore with solemn reverence. They are not from thy native stock, nor sullied with supposed good works. Holiness guards the Church, and supplies her with all covenant divine gifts. Lazarus wore the diadem, and Job the beauty of pearls; and the despised saint shall be a holy lump.

a

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS,

BY THE OLD PILGRIM.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

upon it.

[ocr errors]

a

DEAR MR. EDITOR,—While you were once showing how Rom. x. 13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” is wrested by unhumbled men to their own destruction, a solemn circumstance which happened when I was a child was brought to my remembrance; a circumstance that ought to be proclaimed upon the housetop, that all who have eyes to see and ears to hear might see, hear, and know, that “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." My parents were strict domestic disciplinarians, and dear mother a woman of a tender disposition, in relation to a profession of godliness, or anything bordering

At a family gathering one winter evening, the matter of calling upon the name of the Lord and being saved came up in conversation. The elder branches of the family each, as was the custom, had ful] liberty to state what they thought upon the subject; and I well remember (although I was but a child) hearing my dear mother, in refuting the erroneous notions that had been broached, call our attention to a circumstance which had then but recently taken place : and this I also remember, that from mother's emphatic manner in relating the circumstance, her intention was to satisfy all present, that not only did she look upon it, but that it really was, presumption of no ordinary magnitude, and that the Lord had signally and openly revealed His abhorrence by the awful death of the presumer. And now for the circumstance to the which I have before alluded. A gentleman who lived a few miles from the place of my nativity, being reproved for his profanity, jeeringly would say to his reprovers, "Let me have none of your preaching; it will be enough for me to say when I come to die, 'Lord, have mercy upon me,' and this I will say, and then I shall be sure of heaven." This same gentleman with several gay companions one market day was returning to his home from market, and they had to pass over the river Terne, a deep and dead water, especially near to the bridge, which was long and flat. When they came upon the bridge, this said gentleman's horse began to plunge fearfully; why it should have done so was a mystery hidden from all that were present and saw it. Nor was it in the power of the rider to govern the animal, nor any of his companions ; but, with a fearful spring, he leaped with his rider over the battlements of the bridge into the river, and both the horse and his rider there and then perished, and the last words the poor creature was heard to bawl, out as he was flying over the parapet, were these, The devil take all." And doubtless the devil did take all that belonged to him; and a fearful taking it was to him that was taken, for in that moment his flattering plea was swallowed up with his mortal life in endless death.

It is a solemn thought, as you remarked, that the sweetest home truths left upon record, Satan, if the Lord permit him, will prompt poor blind presumptuous human nature to abuse, pervert, and turn to a bane.

This gentleman, no doubt, had for many years quieted the fleeting alarms of his natural conscience by the supposition that the mere pronouncing of the words, “Lord, have mercy upon me," without in heart feeling his misery, was all that is intended by calling upon the name of the Lord. Indeed, all unregenerate men are under the dominion of this delusion. The cry for mercy under natural alarms may be where

а

a

Oh, yes,'

the cry of sin-felt misery to the Father of mercies never has been or ever will be. All who are not quickened from the Adam-fall death in trespasses and sins, into life eternal, hold that God-dishonouring notion that mercy may be so resisted as ultimately to be displeased with a man, and finally to depart from him. Or that mercy may, by a man repeating a certain form of words, be so pleased with that man as to take him into its embraces. This was the notion which captivated the thoughts of the gentleman aforesaid.

,” said he, “my tongue is my own; and my tongue, when I come to die, shall say, Lord, have mercy upon me;'” but, instead of saying what he flattered himself he could and would say, he said, “The devil take all,” thus giving the lie to all boasted power of creature-willing and doing. But did the devil do what the man invoked him to do ? His last aspiration was not, “Into Thine hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit. I am Thine, for Thou has redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." Oh, no: “Into thy hand, O devil, I commit myself; I am thine, to thee I belong, take all. Through life without faltering I have served thee, and now, at the end of my race, as I plunge into death, I cleave unto thee; and the last name upon my tongue in life shall be thy name, 0 devil, and thy right of property over me and in me, I will trace down to thyself in the everlasting prison of hell.”

Was the prey by omnipotent mercy taken from the mighty?_It was not taken, nor was the lawful captive delivered ; and why? Because sovereign and invincible mercy did not interpose its victorious arm to rescue from going down into the devouring pit. God forbid that any poor trembling caller upon the name of the Lord should be discouraged by what has been said. And God forbid that any whole-hearted wrester of this sweet Scripture should pass on unscathed. If we examine carefully what is meant by calling upon the name of the Lord, we shall discover that it is believing on Him. Indeed, calling is the recumbency of faith. It is the soul, by the faith of God's elect, feeling itself under the death sentence of the law, sinking into endless woe, as dear David felt, and complained, "I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing."' It is the spiritual instinct of faith casting the soul upon Jesus, who is the Foundation that God the Father hath laid in Zion, that hath been, is, and shall be tried, and found to be a precious resting-place, for all who fear and feel themselves sinking. I say the calling here is faith's knowledge of wants, weakness, and woes, and a going out of and from self, seeking to find salvation and rest in Jesus.

Calling is the breath of faith, or faith breathing in the soul. It is the vital life-root of this calling upon the name of the Lord; as the Holy Ghost hath said, “How then shall they call on Him, in whom they have not believed ?" Now, we are warranted by the question above to ask another question, How then shall they not call upon Him, in whom they have believed ? As it is impossible without faith in Jesus to call upon Him, so it is impossible with faith in Jesus not to call upon Him. There may be no words spoken, but there will be sighing, groaning, desiring, craving, thinking, or what Jesus calls hungering and thirsting, which is as good, nay, better, than a mountain pile of words.

Calling, then, is the legitimate fruit of faith. It is the soul going forth after the Lord for that salvation which, by faith, it is made to see and feel it needeth. Calling here, then, is one precious branch of the work of faith. It is one evidence of faith in the heart, and, if not for comfort, rest and peace, yet for sorrow, weakness, weariness, and emptiness. It is by faith

a

a

that a vital knowledge is brought into the soul of a man's lost and perishing condition by sin, as well as it is by faith the soul takes in and receives discoveries of salvation from sin, by the doing and dying of Jesus ; and all the Lord's redeemed are made painfully conversant with the first before they can be sweetly conversant with the second. Oh, this is a solemn fact, until I am brought by the faith of the operation of God to believe with all my heart that by the law of God my damnation sentence has been pronounced, and that no works or doings of mine will procure my discharge, that salvation by grace to me is nothing but an empty name.

Faith in the heart, to all to whom it is given, is the substance, ground, or confidence of things which are feared, before it is or can be the substance and evidence of things hoped for; the first being called the spirit of bondage to fear, and the last the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father."

Do I feel myself ready to perish ? and do I conclude that I must and shall perish, because the God of truth, who cannot lie, must carry out His own pronounced sentence? And do these painful discoveries press out groans and cries, "Lord, save; or I perish?” This, then, is the right kind of calling, and I am one of the genuine callers, and am saved, and shall be saved, because it is of faith by grace that I call. Such a caller has no need to be man, word, or book-taught, how, and for what to call upon

the Lord. Oh, no; his feelings form the mould in which his cries are framed; and his mouth, in due time, utters them in parts. “For with the heart mạn believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confessions and petitions are made unto and for salvation. But, if we investigate the matter more minutely, we shall find that there must be faith in the heart of these callers, or the Holy Ghost would not have left the record that salvation is their portion to inherit

, and that they shall be put into the possession, or “shall be saved ;" because it is Christ's own positive statement, from which there can be no appeal, that “He that believeth shall be saved ;" but he that believeth not, “ whether he calls or does not call," shall be damned. Indeed, faith must be bestowed out of Christ's fulness, and received into the heart of the caller, or no salvation calling upon the name of the Lord.

The promise runs that the caller shall be saved. And this salvation is certain, because this calling is salvation in part; it is the earnest of the Spirit in the heart, and is of the same pure piece of grace as salvation by the blood of the covenant.

A FEW REMARKS

TO THOSE WHO EXPECT SOON TO BE "ABSENT FROM THE BODY AND

27 PRESENT WITH THE LORD.

DEAR BRETHREN in Christ, you are now present for a little while with the body. This is truly called an “earthly house” (2 Cor. v. 1). "In this body” you “groan, being burdened.” It is called "home" in ver. 6, not permanent, only temporary, like the tabernacle. Neither do you wish it durable. It is called "i

vile body, you are now present with what is vile; corruptible, so that you are present with what is corruptible; a “body of sin,” so that you are present with what is sinful; mortal, so that you are present with what is mortal ; earthly, so that you are present with what is earthly. Now, at death you will be absent from

a

so that

[ocr errors]

what is vile, and present with what is glorious; absent from what is sinful, and present with what is holy; absent from what is earthly, and present with what is heavenly ; absent from what is corruptible, and present with what is incorruptible; absent from what is natural, and present with what is spiritual; absent from what is mortal, and present with what is immortal.

A person's home may be rendered uncomfortable, owing to its not being kept as clean, orderly, and quiet as he could wish. Things are seen, heard, and felt, which cause trouble. Disturbances may often be taking place there, so as to make him feel a dread of going to his own home. So, while you are at home in the body, how many things the Lord orders to take place to make you feel that “this is not your rest." What inward pollution, disorder, unquietness, conflict, tossings, fightings, and fears! You cry out sometimes with David, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”

What occasions absence from the body? Death. What brought death? Sin. How is it then, that when death causes a separation of soul from the body, the soul is "present with the Lord ?” Election explains it. The life, suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ explain it. The internal work of the Holy Spirit in the soul, this also explains the reason why. So that the combined work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, are the great and precious causes, why, when “absent from the body, you will be present with the Lord.”

When present with the Lord you will see Him“ face to face" (1 Cor. xiii. 12); “See Him as He is” (1 John iii. 2); present with Him in whose presence are glory and honour (1 Chron. xvi. 27). "In Thy presence is fulness of joy” (Psalm xvi. 11). Oh, what must it be to be present with Him !

You know something of what it is for the Lord to be with you, and the blessed effects of His felt presence in your soul. His presence warms the heart, supports the soul, begets patience, subdues the will, cheers the desponding soul, making it for a time like a watered garden. To feel the presence of the God of life makes you lively, of the God of love it makes you loving, of the God of mercy it makes you merciful, of the God of grace it makes you gracious, and to feel the glorious presence of this glorious God and Saviour will make you glorious, and keep you so through eternity. Suppose you were always to be present with holy angels, prophets, apostles, and the spirits of just men made perfect, how much you would learn from intercourse with them! But what must it be to be present with the all-powerful, ever-blessed Lamb of God. It is to be where He is—in heaven-in glory-in His Father's house be like Him.” Well, “He is alive for evermore.To be present with Him is to be alive for evermore. No more dead frames and feelings; darkness and bondage. No more devil-dragging; no more world-driving; no more sin. Ah, my dear friends, the best is before you. It will soon be all over with your shaking and quaking, fearing and fainting, fretting and fuming, fighting and flying. God help you to - endure unto the end." “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” You do not expect to be present with the Lord on the ground of human merit. You have been taught by the Holy Spirit your own demerit. Up to the last, you will feel, it is likely, compelled to cry, “ God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” A dying hour affords such scope for the “rich display" of covenant mercy and love. Yes, and you will see it, my friends. The devil is a liar !

_66 to

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »